The Santa Barbara City Council upheld the 30-day dance permit suspension imposed by the Police and Fire Commission on Whiskey Richards, a nightclub on the 400 block of State Street, stemming from what police described as several operating transgressions. According to police reports, two patrons were seen snorting cocaine in the nightclub restroom between 2001 and 2012. In addition, as many as eight minors gained entry using fake IDs or no IDs at all.
Whiskey Richards owner Bill Clayton appealed the disciplinary action to the council, complaining that the Police and Fire Commission failed to provide written documentation of the allegations against him and that the number of transgressions had been greatly exaggerated. He noted that the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control has records of only one infraction against the club, and that he’s initiated an aggressive “zero tolerance” policy to keep underage drinkers from getting in since. Some councilmembers did object that the Police and Fire Commission went too far when it decreed that Whiskey Richard’s would be shut down completely if any new transgressions surfaced.